MLK Day of Service Opportunity

AmpleHarvest.org ending food waste

Reduce Hunger and Malnourishment In Your Community AND Help The Environment – In Only One Day

Two Problems With One Solution
  • Problem: Food pantries* nationwide desperately need fresh food
  • Problem: Wasted excess garden produce is bad for the environment.
  • The Solution: AmpleHarvest.org enables millions of growers nationwide to donate excess garden produce to a local food pantry.

Spend a few hours just once and help eliminate hunger and malnutrition in your community while improving the environment. It’s as simple as A B C:

  • Ask a food pantry in your community sign up at AmpleHarvest.org. It’s free!
  • Bring AmpleHarvest.org to the growers in your community.
  • Contact your friends nationwide and tell them what you did – and ask them to do it too.
  • Donate excess garden produce from your garden to a nearby food pantry.

 

Step A – Ask a food pantry in your community sign up at AmpleHarvest.org. It’s free!

  1. Once you have found a food pantry in your neighborhood, enter their zip code to see if the pantry is listed. If it does appear on AmpleHarvest.org, GREAT! Nothing more to do with that pantry. Start looking for another one in your town.
  2. If it does not appear, try to call them to see when they are open.
  3. Print out this flier (Spanish version here) and show it to the food pantry manager. Explain that AmpleHarvest.org is a totally free way to enable local growers to share their harvest with the pantry. Also tell them that they do not need extra refrigeration or storage.
  4. Also reassure them that they do not need Internet or a computer at the pantry.
  5. You can also tell them that
    -AmpleHarvest.org was created by a CNN Hero
    -It is endorsed by Feeding America and its food banks
    -It is endorsed by all of the major faith organizations
    -It is even promoted by the USDA
  6. Urge then to register as soon as possible. It only takes a minute or so to register. If they have no access to a computer to register, they can use one at the public library or a friends home. Or they can fax back the form you printed for them.
Important Notes
  1. Do not register a food pantry yourself. We only want to include food pantries that want to be listed on AmpleHarvest.org.
  2. If they have questions, have them look at a PBS’s “Growing A Greener World” episode at www.AmpleHarvest.org/PBS. It should answer their questions.
  3. Lastly, ask them if they know of another food pantry in the community that you can also reach out to.

When you have completed this task, go to Step B – Bring AmpleHarvest.org to the growers in your community.

Helpful Information

Food pantries, possibly called “food shelves”, “food closets”, “food cupboards”, “food shares” or even “food banks” in your community, are neighborhood places where people needing help to feed their family can come to get extra food.

Most food pantries do not get fresh food, only processed and packed food with a significant health and environmental impact.

Food pantries are in nearly every community in America. They can be found in houses of worship, YMCA’s or civic buildings. Of course they may not be easy to find, you may need to call the local house of worship and ask if they have one, maybe ask at your town hall, or possibly call the local United Way office. Ask around.

You can learn more at:

Step B – Bring AmpleHarvest.org to the growers in your community.

While AmpleHarvest.org works hard on the national level to help growers learn that they can share their excess garden produce with local food pantries, we rely on people in the community (that’s you!) to help spread the word locally.

 

Follow These Steps:
  1. Print out this two sided flier and ask the local garden shops (including the “big box” stores like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Sears, Lowes etc., nurseries, and hardware stores to post it in a conspicuous location… preferably near the cash register. Other ideal places to post it are in supermarket bulletin boards, health clubs and house of worship notice boards.
  2. Public awareness of AmpleHarvest.org is key towards making the campaign successful in your community. AmpleHarvest.org has already had a lot of media coverage but more is always better especially in local media. Please reach out to the local radio and TV stations as well as daily and weekly newspapers and ask the reporters that cover gardening, community, heath, hunger, poverty, education and government, school newspapers to report on AmpleHarvest.org “taking root” in your community. Direct them to the AmpleHarvest.org press kit for all of the information they’ll need.
  3. Reach out to bloggers you are familiar with and invite them to write about AmpleHarvest.org. A sample blog article is available here.
  4. Lastly, reach out to the growers in your community directly.
    • Tell your neighbors who have herb and vegetable gardens or fruit trees that they can reach into their backyard instead of their back pocket to help their neighbors in need by donating excess garden produce to a local food panty
    • Visit a nearby community garden and ask to post this flier on their bulletin board.
    • Visit a nearby farmers market and ask to post this flier where the vendors can see it.
    • Ask local houses of worship to post this flier (Christian, Jewish, Muslim versions) on their bulletin board or in their newsletter.
    • Urge local schools to talk about food waste, community nutrition and the environment. A study guide is available here.
    • Inform organizations looking for keynote speakers that AmpleHarvest.org has speakers. They can contact [email protected] for additional information.

 

 

Step C – Contact your friends nationwide and tell them what you did – and ask them to do it too.


AmpleHarvest.org is a viral effort to change the way tens of millions of gardeners nationwide handle the excess food in their garden. In a larger sense, AmpleHarvest.org is pushing the discussion of “No Food Left Behind” – the idea that food should never be wasted.

Be a part of that effort by reaching out to all of your friends and family nationwide and let them know that they can become the key to reducing obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other ills in their community while also helping the environment – and it won’t cost them a dime.

 

Follow These Steps:
    1. Ask each of them to be a part of AmpleHarvest.org by doing what you’ve done – take a day out of your life to change the future of your community and America…. starting with the very steps you did here.
    2. Invite friends to follow AmpleHarvest.org on Facebook and Twitter.
    3. Tell them that the officials in Washington as well as their state do not have all the answers. Sometimes, the solution has been and is in your backyard.

Step D – Donate excess garden produce from your garden to a nearby food pantry.

Are you a home gardener? A farmer? Someone who grows herbs on a kitchen window? Do you grow more than you can use, preserve or give to friends? Share it.

You now understand the impact AmpleHarvest.org has on hunger, nutrition and the environment in your community. We are working hard to do the same in communities across America. A tax deductible contribution to AmpleHarvest.org, large or small will help to reduce hunger, food waste, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and more while enabling millions of Americans to help their neighbors in need. Please help us by contributing to AmpleHarvest.org today.

Follow These Steps:
    1. When you harvest more than you can use, find a food pantry near you that desperately needs help. Enter your zip code here to find a nearby food pantry. Then simply take the excess food there. You’ll be able to do it for years to come.
    2. At your next special event such as a wedding, Christening, Baptism, Confirmation, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, formal dinner or other special event, use fruit instead of flowers for the centerpieces. Then find a local food pantry here and donate the remaining whole fruit.
    3. If a friend is moving to a new home, encourage them to donate the remaining unopened (and unexpired) boxes, jars and cans of food in the kitchen to a local food pantry… it is easier than packing and shipping it.
    4. If you have any questions about donating food from your garden, we’ve probably answered it in our FAQ … check it out.

Thank you!

    You’ve made a lasting change in the health of your community and America. By helping to connect local growers to the food pantries serving the needy in your community, more people will get access to healthy food, less processed food will be shipped into the community, children will get a chance to learn about healthy eating and you will be the hero to all those who hate wasted food, can’t feed their family or just want a healthy America.

We’d love to hear from you! Tell us how it went. Send an email to [email protected] and let us know your thoughts on this program. We’d love to hear from you.

 

8,386 plus food pantries nationwide use AmpleHarvest.org to help nourish their community. We need your help to get more food pantries in your community get more fresh food.

Have more questions? Check out our FAQ.

* In your part of America, a food pantry may be referred to as a food shelf, food closet, food cupboard or even a food bank

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AmpleHarvest.org, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (EIN #27-2433274).